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Nick Offerman to speak on campus

Brown Lecture Board hosts Offerman after student poll selections unavailable

Actor, writer and carpenter Nick Offerman will be Brown Lecture Board’s fall speaker, said Lecture Board President Kaivan Shroff ’15.  

Offerman, who portrays Ron Swanson on the acclaimed sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” will give his lecture Dec. 4 in Salomon 101. His 45-minute talk will be followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session.

“Offerman is an atypical celebrity with a personality of his own and an interesting perspective,” Shroff said.

“We expect this will be a lecture hybrid show which will merge a typical lecture style with a mild amount of stand-up and even some guitar-playing,” said Mariska Raglow-DeFranco ’15, vice president of campus relations for Lecture Board. “Offerman is very interested in talking to young people and teaching them about things like how to grow mustaches and how to make boats.”

As in past years, students will be able to get free tickets by entering an online lottery. Some seats will also be offered to students who wait in the standby line at the door.

For those who are unable to get tickets or standby seating, the event will also be live streamed on a screen in Salomon 001. Though Offerman’s talk will not be webcast, Lecture Board leaders hope to webcast future events this year.

Earlier this semester, Lecture Board sent undergraduates a link to an online poll, which asked them to rank their preferences of potential fall speakers. Options included Mindy Kaling, Toni Morrison, Jane Goodall, Kevin Spacey and Sir Ian McKellan.

Toni Morrison emerged as the favorite among the 1,891 respondents. “She was available, but given her age, the strain of travel and the weather here, her team didn’t think it would be a good decision to make the trip,” Shroff said.

Upon learning that Morrison could not come to College Hill, Lecture Board leaders contacted other potential speakers from the poll, Shroff said. But when none were available, Lecture Board leaders conducted an internal poll of the group’s members to generate a list of five new potential speakers, and Offerman emerged as the top choice.

Offerman received the Television Critics Award for Individual Achievement in Comedy for his performance on “Parks and Recreation.” In addition to this recurring role, Offerman has appeared in several shows, including “George Lopez,” “Gilmore Girls,” “Monk” and “American Body Shop.” His recent forays into film include roles in “Men Who Stare at Goats,” “The Kings of Summer” and “We’re the Millers.”

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon about why he likes speaking at college campuses, Offerman said, “I want to pass along some of the great lessons I’ve been given to the young people, so they can save the planet from assholes like my generation.”


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